Tuesday, April 10, 2012

East Coast Covered in Red Flag Warnings

The East Coast is currently covered in Red Flag warnings as a lack of rain and windy conditions make for  a rising wildfire danger.

I have heard several reports of wildfires over the last week or so.

If you are near this region and hear of a wildfire close to your area, don't take chances- If it may not hit you, collect several buckets of water around your house to use if the flames get too close. If the fire gets too close for comfort, evacuate immediately. Red Flag Warnings are nothing to mess with.


Early Next Week May Get Interesting

Indications are showing up on the GFS that Monday of next week may get very interesting. Here's why.
As I have been preaching, there is a severe weather risk for Saturday of this upcoming weekend. However, this comes as a major storm system is still in the Rockies mountains. On Monday, this strong storm system will eject east and likely make a big splash, weather wise.

Here's the jet stream forecast for hour 138, or Monday at about 1:00 AM CDT. At that point, the system will be moving east, and the jet stream at 300mb will be screaming along at over 100 knots- a strength usually seen with the worse side of the tornado outbreaks spectrum.
The system does appear to be positively tilted, meaning not as much instability will be present as there could be. However, considering the same system will still be positively tilted this Saturday and risks have already been put out, it may or may not be a substantial player in this situation.

Here's the instability forecast for hour 138- the same timeframe as the image above. At this point, instability is mainly confined to south Texas, where values over 2500 j/kg reside. Farther north, instability as high as 1500 j/kg appears in the works. Now, if there was more instability this situation could get much more intense. However, with limited instability, it won't be devastating.

This is surface to 500mb shear, which is commonly used as an indicator for tornadoes. In this image, we see shearing values above 80 knots, which honestly is a pretty high value. These values are typically reserved for more intense tornadoes. However, with lower instability than what is sufficient, tornadoes that may form may not be as strong as they 'could be'.

6 hour precipitation charts reflect how intense things could get in west Missouri and northeast Oklahoma for this event. These would be serious thunderstorms judging by shear, instability and precipitation as seen above. Below is the area I think people should be 'on watch' for this event.


Forecast Discussion: April 10, 2012

Hotspot of the day: Southern Plains
Some potentially severe thunderstorms may pop in the presence of a stationary front in Oklahoma and Louisiana/Arkansas. The main threats look to be damaging winds and hail.

A batch of storm systems in the area will produce mainly rain in the region with some potential snow mixed into those rain showers.

Carolinas and Virginias
A trough extending through these states will produce clouds and a few isolated showers.

West Coast
The presence of an offshore storm system will make for a rainy day on the West Coast.

Most Concern Resides Over Saturday Severe Threat

The most concern for severe weather is residing in the 'Day 5' area shaded in purple, as it has been forecasted by the Storm Prediction Center the longest.

The latest GFS has a sizable amount of instability forecast for the area covered in Day 5, amounting to up to 2000 j/kg, considered substantial for severe storms. In addition, wind shearing from the surface to mid levels will be fairly high, at 60 knots, enhancing the potential for tornadoes.

Here is the set up for Day 5. A dry line will be in place over western Texas, meaning a significant dew point difference will be present in that area. A warm from extending north will be pulling warm, moist air northward and enhance instability.

I don't have much time, so this is all I can give you, but I do consistently update my Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/TheWeatherCentre